Saturday, 5 January 2013

Undecided Syrians Could Tip Balance of Rebellion

I think expecting the Syrian ruling class to desert its own régime en masse is to ignore the history of ruling classes, and it is more often that they are convinced that things cannot go on in the old way as much as they are by the rightness of change. While its instigation of sectarian divisions may have brought the government some breathing space,* students of revolution will also tend to say that it is by emancipating the majority that didn't benefit from the old régime that real change occurs. The understanding that it is those that have benefited from Assad's sectarian neo-liberal tyranny that support him is better than much comment on Syria, though.
"Mr. Assad remains in power in part because two years into the uprising, a critical bloc of Syrians remains on the fence. Among them are business owners who drive the economy, bankers who finance it, and the security officials and government employees who hold the keys to the mundane but crucial business of maintaining an authoritarian state. If they abandoned the government or embraced the rebels en masse, they might change the tide."
* Although he went on to say it might last longer, Abdel Bari Atwan on Dateline London on the BBC did repeat a story that the war is costing Assad $1bn a month, and he's only got $2bn left. He did also refer to Assad's support from "the Soviet Union" before correcting himself to Russia.

Taif-style agreement needed for Syria

Entrenching sectarian head-counting in the political system doesn't seem to have worked so well for Lebanon, didn't work out too well for Yugoslavia.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Image result for syria deeply

An Alawite Outcast: How One Girl Lost Her Mother

"I understand the rich families or the families that are in power, but I don’t understand the poor families who support Assad. I remember my neighbours…they were so poor. I’d wonder, why are you supporting this regime? What did the regime do for you?"
Krak des Chevaliers 01.jpg

Krak des Chevaliers

"Crac des Chevaliers, is a Crusader castle in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval castles in the world. "
Maybe not any more.
"Syrian jetfighters flew several times Friday over the northern border region of Lebanon before carrying out raids on a hilltop castle in the Homs Gap in Syria".
Children often show signs of trauma from their experiences inside Syria. A U.N. team interviewing Syrian children in a refugee camp found that most lost a loved one in the fighting, and almost half have post-traumatic stress disorder.

In War-Torn Northern Syria, Children 'Only Paint In Red

"Many of the children, Deb also reported, talk of wanting to kill Syrian President Bashar Assad."

Increasing Barbarity: Gaining a Clearer View of the Syrian Civil War

'Nor does the image of the ultra-warrior apply to all who adorn themselves with the al-Qaida logo. A group of jihad tourists kidnapped a British and a Dutch photographer in late July, and the British photographer, John Cantlie, later said their camp seemed "like an adventure course for disenchanted 20-year-olds."'
When I saw this mentioned in the Guardian Middle East protest coverage on Twitter*, they'd picked the misleading line, "The true danger, the one we sense growing with each trip we make to Syria, is the increasing brutality and barbarism on both sides." In fact we see in this report more sophisticated analyses, such as showing how the régime has created sectarian tension,
'Drivers in the provinces of Homs and Hama, for example, take the precaution of making wide detours around any Alawite village. "They've all got weapons from the regime there," one driver explained. "They may not all support Assad, but there are militias in every village." '
*[…/03/syria-petrol-station-car-bomb] '
syrianews: "The true danger is the increasing brutality and barbarism on both sides" (Spiegel)
about 18 minutes ago'

Syrian bakeries forced to operate during dark

"The flames of their revolution will not be put out."

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Gather Round

"The artist in speaking of the song’s inspiration, refers to Syria and Libya." 
Actually that's not how the World Socialist Web Site quite put it*, but any acknowledgement that anything good could be on the side of freedom in Syria is an advance for them.

Cats, Guns and Spoils of War in Rural Idlib, Syria

Socialist Resistance


I think this still mistakes the argument over foreign intervention a little, few people want Western troops, but the argument over munitions has been largely that there is not enough, rather than too much, going to the armed opposition. I saw a BBC newsreader this morning lazily repaeting the claim that Syria has become a proxy war, a common misunderstanding of the motives of those foreign fighters that there are, who are there out of solidarity rather than as paid agents of the Gulf states.
"The toppling of the Assad regime by the democracy movement would bring about a much deeper change in the state and society in Syria than it did in Egypt or Tunisia, as it would also be a defeat for the army and the corrupt elites."

Fuck Western Media

Latakia mountains, December.

 "So my question to the western media who’re depicting this area as bunch of Salafists, Islamists and Qaeda: where the fuck are you getting your shit from? Why are you deliberately missing out on the people of Syria who have since day one lead this revolution and been through the shelling, besiege, know what, you don’t even know what each of these words mean, do you know what detention means? what shelling means? what the sound of airplane means as it’s flying over your village? Over your children’s heads?"

Sunday, 30 December 2012

TURKEY: Syrian refugees

choosing to work risk exploitation

"If Syrians without work permits were to take an employer to court, the judge would likely report them for working illegally."
Image result for Jamal Maarouf first to shoot down a Syrian regime fighter plane

Jamal Maarouf first to shoot down

a Syrian regime fighter plane

'Two years after the eruption of the revolution, lots of lives were lost, and the revolution has taken a sectarian aspect that the rebel refuses to accept. 
Jamal Maarouf reassured Syrians that Alawites have not recorded any killing incident. 
“We have not killed Alawites. Al-Fawaa village in the province of Idlib, is a Shiite village, and yet, we have never raided this village or killed their children.”
Image result for the register guard

FOCUS ON SYRIA: Revolution’s resources remain major problem

"Jabhat al-Nusra has helped on the ground in ways Washington has not: The group cooperates closely with the Free Syrian Army; it has achieved military successes and has delivered critical civilian aid. Second, the U.S. designation failed to distinguish between Jabhat al-Nusra’s core of hard-line ideologues and Syrians who join because Jabhat al-Nusra has money, weapons and proven military successes."